Throughout my childhood, there were so many things that I wanted to learn to do. Just normal kid things…that my family took an “old school” approach on teaching me. Like when I was 6 years old and asked my dad to teach me to ride a 2 wheeler bike without training wheels. He said “sure,” go get me my tool box.” A little puzzled, I brought him the box where he pulled out a wrench and said “this is what you’ll need.” I laughed and said, “no it isn’t!” He replied, “yes it is… you asked me to teach you, and these are the tools we’ll need for you to learn.” He took those tools and removed the training wheels and sent me riding toward the carport support beam in that Alabama church parking lot. (ouch! Painful lesson) I think about when I prayed that God would help me be a good pastor someday so he gave me a group of crazy teenagers. Or maybe when I asked my grandpa to teach me how to drive, so he put me on the riding lawn mower and made me cut the grass.
Like the karate kid, I didn’t understand that wax the car and paint the fence were the techniques I would need to win my actual competition. If I’m honest, I often regretted asking grandpa or GOD for anything because it always ended up backfiring with implications I would have not preferred. Dangerous questions lead to dangerous results.
Tommy says, he wants to be a masterpiece. He wants to be everything that God wants him to be. So, he goes to God in prayer and says some extremely dangerous words: “Dear Heavenly Father, do whatever it takes to mold me into the image of your Son. Make me your masterpiece. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen” In a moment, “God” appears and presents the tools by which he will answer Tommy’s prayer.
Now, I know this just a skit. I’m not trying to treat it like Scripture. But what makes this video so powerful is the Bible content that is packed into every line! Jesus says in John 15:7, “ If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” If we ask God for things that are according to His will, he gives them to us, or more specifically, does them unto us! James 4 reminds us that we have not because we ask not, and if we ask for things according to our own lust, many times God will withhold them.
That’s why so many people pray vague prayers. They are scared that God might answer their specific ones, or ignore their selfish ones. We want God to give us patience, but we don’t want the testing that brings it. We want God to give us blessings, but we don’t want the poverty that helps us realize His prosperity. We want God to make us stronger, but we don’t want to carry the cross that builds the muscles. Dangerous prayers bring dangerous results.
My friend, vague, meaningless prayers do not move God to specific action. But if you’ll pray specifically today: Dangerous prayers…the kind that make you cringe. They may bring about some dangerous results, but the end product is a dangerous Christian. The kind that is strong, chiseled, patient, and bold. If you’ll ask God for some big things, I promise he will do some big things. Even if its not in the comfortable way we might prefer.
1. God, please make me dangerous.
2. Lord, place me in the circumstances that cause me to pray without ceasing.
3. Father, hold my hand and give me faith and your strength as I learn to live like you.